HOW TO BECOME DENTALLY    SELF-SUFFICIENT                     Published by                   OraMedia            PO Box 49...
Foreword           Why become dentally self-sufficient?                   Whats in it for me?    What must I do to become ...
Diet, nutrition and oral health                       X-Rays vs. Saliva Tests: ...which is best?                          ...
In these pages you will find all the information needed to become self-reliant in caring foryour oral health. Youll unders...
ten think professionals could help them. Less than half believe the professionals will help them.     No, youre not alone;...
Chapter One - Why Become DentaIly Self-Sufficient?     In early April, 1979, authors Dr. Nara and Steven Mariner attended ...
People in rural America are in isolated places: Who can afford to lose a days work; to drivemany miles to a dentists offic...
environment is disease-free, the person will have become totally self-sufficient.    The reader is encouraged to write to ...
Chapter Two - Whats in it for me?     Even if Madison Avenue hadnt taught us to be aware of "whats in it for me?" we would...
through 1978 (17 years). Because of the average condition upon initial examination, as describedabove:                    ...
is practically impossible for them to develop any dental disease.                                          -Alice T. Rausc...
Take a look at illustration 1, a graph of oral health costs. While its obvious that we aretalking about an average --your ...
Chapter Three - What must I do to be dentally self-sufficient?    In its simplest form, the answer to that question is: Yo...
germs; and there are no pills which will make them "go away." If we did have such an injectionor medicine, youd simply end...
To take the saliva test, you first obtain a specimen bottle and instructions. Oramedics offersthis through the mail. As wi...
Dr. Bibby then asks other dentists:    Is it correct to say that brushing the teeth will prevent dental decay, or have we ...
Step Four    Sooner or later, you will probably require the services of a dentist. Youve had odontosis longenough now, pro...
Chapter Four - Physiology - the anatomy of the mouth    We could have titled this chapter What goes on in your mouth, to a...
...in the age-old struggle to promote medicine from a craft to a science there has been moreprogress in the past thirty ye...
It is totally incorrect to assume that we have no concern for oral health in children until theirteeth begin to appear. In...
hold the tooth in place and prevent it from becoming "loosened" in its socket; they also act asshock absorbers when chewin...
Salivary Glands     The unsung heroes of dental health are the salivary glands. Because our society has longconsidered "sp...
If it fits...    Teeth come in during youth and many people suspect there is nothing on earth that willdecide whether they...
Grays will tell you virtually anything you wish to know about the human body. For ourpurposes, the section describing the ...
Chapter Five - A summary of odontosis    Odontosis...dental disease...is pathogenic: It is caused by germs. Its most appar...
The mechanism of odontosis    The germs which cause odontosis, principally, are streptococcus mutans and lactobacillusacid...
Once again, infection is the result: Gingivosis. Also... any germ which reaches unprotectedinner body tissue can be transp...
Chapter Six - Materials and Equipment     Before we begin a discussion of personal oral hygiene its appropriate to take a ...
First: If the oral health is not good, especially if the person has not been a frequent toothbrusher in the past, begin wi...
commercially-available powder with abrasives in it, this is something to watch for. Abrasives,such as pumice, are used to ...
contain eugenol, and its manufacturer recommends that before using Cavit, the cavity be swabbedwith eugenol...so, either w...
Electric toothbrushes     Electric toothbrushes seem to be helpful, if only for one reason: There is reason to believethat...
savings, is one of todays best buys.Editors Note: While this book was written nearly twenty years ago and the facts remain...
Chapter Seven - Oral self-help medicine     The chemicals used in becoming dentally self sufficient generally fall into on...
stubbornly refuses to drop below 8,000 per mi., and there is reason to believe that person is doingall of his or her perso...
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Become dentally self_sufficient

  1. 1. HOW TO BECOME DENTALLY SELF-SUFFICIENT Published by OraMedia PO Box 496, Elmira, NY 14902 http:OraMedia.home.ml.org OraMedia@aol.com Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 79-90865 International Standard Book No. 0-933420-01-3
  2. 2. Foreword Why become dentally self-sufficient? Whats in it for me? What must I do to become dentally self-sufficient? Physiology--the anatomy of the mouth A summary of odontosis Materials & equipment Oral self-help medicine Your personal oral health maintenance program Special-purpose hygiene methods Home prophylaxis: an oral health "insurance policy" Saving orthodontic dollars Oral first-aid measures What you should know and do about dental pain1
  3. 3. Diet, nutrition and oral health X-Rays vs. Saliva Tests: ...which is best? From now on Catalog of publications Foreword Knowledge is the key to health. Knowing what to do, how to do it, and why to do it can helpyou and your family live sensibly. You can enjoy not just freedom from dental disease, butfreedom from the expense and futility of dentistry itself. Because knowledge is such an essential ingredient, it would be to your advantage to have, inaddition to this book, two other OraMedia publications; Research Advocates Oramedics andMoney By The Mouthful. The information contained in these two books will be included in this book, but not in asextensive detail. Most people who obtain this book will do so because they were introduced toOramedics via these other books, and this one is written more for the "advanced" reader...it is anatural extension of what theyve already learned.1
  4. 4. In these pages you will find all the information needed to become self-reliant in caring foryour oral health. Youll understand the cause of dental disease, youll learn how to avoid it; youlllearn what to do for infants, older children and adults. Youll discover what natural resources areavailable to help you maintain a healthy oral environment as well as what effective materials areeasily obtainable through any well-stocked drugstore. You will find that as with virtually anything in the health spectrum, the first and best"medicine" is prevention, but we realize that there will be problems in spite of your preventiveefforts...and we will help you understand these problems and what to do about them: A sort of"dental first aid" approach. If you havent encountered the term "frame of reference" by now --or if you have, but dontfully understand it --you should be aware of its importance to your use of the information in thisbook. A frame of reference is the way you view any given subject, based on preconceived ideas...on all of the concepts and misconceptions youve acquired relative to the subject at hand. The typical frame of reference to oral health is woefully incorrect; but it is nearly impossibleto understand and to use correct information unless the old frame of reference is changed.Whenever you encounter that phrase in this book, think of it as a reminder that the informationyou are reading at that point is something that is contrary to "popular belief", and that you shouldperhaps slow down at that point and give it extra attention. Why are you about to read this book? --isnt it because youre convinced you havent beengetting the whole truth from the dental profession? Youre quite sure that if you only knew how,you could take excellent care of your health, and your familys health, without encountering thebackbreaking (and rising) medical and dental costs of our time. Youre not alone. In fact, pollster Louis Harris wanted to find out how many people think likeyou do, and so the famous Harris Poll went out and dug up an interesting fact: More than nine outof ten Americans share your growing belief that simply living sensibly will do more good thanany doctor or medicine. That same poll showed that perhaps seventy percent of the public believes doctors could begood sources of help --information --on how to stay healthy... but only forty-seven percentbelieve doctors will give them the advice they need. Nine out of ten suspect that somethings not quite right with what theyre told. Seven out of1
  5. 5. ten think professionals could help them. Less than half believe the professionals will help them. No, youre not alone; and that perhaps accounts for the mushrooming acceptance ofOramedics: Americans, now more than ever before, are ready to recognize and to use commonsense approaches to health care. We think thats why you are about to read this book. We knowthats why it was written...1
  6. 6. Chapter One - Why Become DentaIly Self-Sufficient? In early April, 1979, authors Dr. Nara and Steven Mariner attended a conference inMilwaukee, Wisconsin. The purpose of the conference was so that National Aeronautics & SpaceAdministration (NASA) bio-medical engineering experts and highly-placed members of theAmerican Dental Association (ADA) could compare notes on the "state of the art" of dentaltechniques. It was intended to be an exposition of how to bring the best of dentistry to people in remote,inaccessible areas --perhaps as a fore-runner to populations in space; certainly in response toareas of the world where dental offices are impossible and dentists are scarce. It was, from the viewpoint of most of those present, a smashing success. As far as Oramedicsis concerned, it was a discouraging failure --except that it underlined the crying need, now...today... for the public to have access to the kind of oral health approaches Oramedics hasdeveloped. The crowning achievement of American technology was to bring space-age materials andtechniques to bear on equipment. The conferences high point was when people learned that wecan now take all of the archaic devices from a dentists office... the barber chair, the drillingequipment... the works... and put them into a back pack weighing in at just under 100 pounds. Now a dentist can hire a porter to lug his office up a mountain, or through a jungle --or into aspace vehicle --and, once hes arrived at his destination, he can set up shop and... right. Drill holesin someones teeth, or yank them out. It is discouraging and frustrating to see such an enormous expenditure of money andtechnology just to keep alive the fiction that diseased teeth are inevitable; and that the only personwho can do anything about disease damage is a dentist with his mechanical tools. It makes nodifference whether the office is up a flight of stairs over the dime store... or on someones back, ata miracle of only 97 pounds. What on earth --or in space --is that person doing with holes in his teeth to begin with?Dental disease doesnt have to happen! We might as well imagine the spectacle of doctors lugging iron lungs around with them,looking for victims of polio in remote areas... so they can keep the victims alive for just a littlewhile longer... but without taking along any Salk vaccine to prevent the disease in folks notalready stricken. Dental disease --odontosis --is the result of an invasion of germs into the oral environment. Itcan be stopped at any stage of its development, simply and economically. It can be prevented. Ifodontosis is inactive, there wont be any more holes in the teeth. If its stopped before itprogresses too far, there wont be any "yanked" teeth... or, as is predictable with the current "stateof the art" for conventional dentistry, the ultimate loss of all the teeth. Nobody can "blame" NASA for spinning its wheels on product development: The only sourceof information about dentistry is organized dentistry... and organized dentistry is still practicing"drill, spit and fill" techniques given up decades ago by the town barber. It comes down to this: Theres only one way for people in remote areas to avoid the pain anddanger of disease-damaged teeth: They must learn to avoid the disease. There is no other sensibleway for people in "remote areas" --and that covers a lot more territory than on the moon. People in ghettos are in "remote areas" --how many dentists practice in such places? Wherewould people get the money to pay them?1
  7. 7. People in rural America are in isolated places: Who can afford to lose a days work; to drivemany miles to a dentists office, often only to be told to come back again in a few days time? Being isolated is as much a function of economics as it is geography: A person earning $140per week take-home pay is as isolated as an astronaut as far as dentistry is concerned, even if helives and works within walking distance of an office. People are "isolated" from dentistry by distance, by economics, by misconceptions as to whatdentists do (or dont do). People can be intentionally isolated from dentistry; especially thegrowing number of Americans who simply do not trust the medical / dental establishment to tellthem the truth about self help methods. The Harris Poll discovered in 1979 that 92% of all Americans believe simply living sensiblywill do more good than any doctor or medicine. They are correct in that assumption, as far as oral health is concerned! It isnt too surprising,given the somewhat astonishing "track record" of the American Public, that people seem to comeup with the correct attitude in spite of the "official" attitudes handed them by the establishment. In that same poll, less than half of the people interviewed believed they would get the rightkind of advice from their doctors. When you stop to realize that those "doctors" are the same sortwho are encouraging NASA to spend millions of dollars to develop back-pack dental offices, it isrefreshing to realize how difficult it really is to fool the American Public indefinitely. Organized dentistry has been able to fool "all of the people some of the time; and some of thepeople all of the time" --but, fortunately, the era is over when they could fool all of the people, allof the time. Those who have read Money By The Mouthful are aware of the resistance Oramedics hasencountered in its attempt to tell people that dental disease is unnecessary. In Money By TheMouthful it was made clear that organized dentistry responds to symptoms, not disease. Thosewho read that book --many thousands of people --asked Oramedics to publish another; one thattold them how, in simple terms, to become dentally self-sufficient. Thats what this book is all about. A suggested method of using it would be to read it rightthrough, cover to cover, without stopping to "study" any part of it. Youll find that yourunderstanding of dental disease (which well call odontosis from now on) will increase as you goalong. Youll notice several reference chapters which you can use as guides, or to refresh yourmemory, when specific needs arise later. Youll come to view this book as a sort of "home medical advisor," but with a total emphasison oral health. There are chapters on how to care for infants and for youngsters as well as adults.There are some relatively technical chapters which discuss disease mechanisms. These arenecessary for your understanding and --while technically accurate --they are written in plainlanguage. This book will not qualify the average person to be a Doctor of Dental Surgery (dentist); anymore than a medical or first-aid book would qualify a layman to be a physician, an M.D.Situations can arise which are simply beyond the scope of this book or which require training andskills beyond the reach of a lay person. An accident which breaks teeth or severely cuts gumtissue, for instance, would obviously require medical / dental attention. Its possible that severe disease symptoms could arise, causing intolerable pain or systemicpoisoning. It is no comfort, at that point, to realize that it could have been avoided. If the situationexists, it must be dealt with. In the event of any condition which isnt clearly understood, or where there is evidentpotential for serious difficulty, the intelligent person will seek help from a professional. One of the purposes of this book, in addition to helping people become self-sufficient for amajor percentage of their oral health needs, is to give them greater competence in deciding whenand where to seek medical assistance... when that assistance is available. Of course the emphasis throughout will be on prevention of odontosis: The primary goal ofOramedics International is to help people achieve freedom from disease. When the oral1
  8. 8. environment is disease-free, the person will have become totally self-sufficient. The reader is encouraged to write to Oramedics International if there are any questions. Everyinquiry receives the personal attention of a staff member and more often than not will be referredto an Oramedics Fellow, a practicing Doctor of Dental Surgery. AII inquiries are answered. Mailshould be addressed to: Oramedia PO Box 496, Elmira, NY 14902 E-mail: OraMedia@aol.com So...read on; join the ever-increasing number of Americans who are achieving freedom fromdental disease. We think you deserve better than inventions which allow conventional dentistry tobring an office into your living room --or in a mobile van --or on the moon --in order to plugholes or pull teeth that shouldnt have been sick to start with. We rather like the idea of a muchearlier inventor, Thomas A. Edison, who said: "The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of thehuman frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."...Welcome to the dentistry of the future --today.1
  9. 9. Chapter Two - Whats in it for me? Even if Madison Avenue hadnt taught us to be aware of "whats in it for me?" we would still,sooner or later, evaluate the cost-effectiveness of anything we do, in order to decide if its "worthit." There cannot be any real effort --and therefore no progress --without incentive of some sort.This is as true with oral health as with anything else; and there is no way you or your family willinvest the money (although it is very little), or the time and effort to overcome odontosis andbecome self-sufficient, unless you are first convinced there is something of real value to gain. Organized dentistry is betting that you cant do it, and they are more than willing to providerepair services for a fee when this self-fulfilling prophecy comes to pass. This attitude is well expressed by the author of an article in Journal of the American DentalAssociation (V. 95 {1159}12/77), entitled, Patient Susceptibility Limits to the Effectiveness ofPreventive Oral Health Education: Prevention is preferable to repair of damage. During the past few years the most significantdevelopment in the prevention of dental disease has been the movement to incorporate patientoral health education as a service routinely offered by many private practitioners. The goal ofsuch programs is to develop in patients a self-maintaining habit of daily mechanical disruption ofplaque. From the perspective of behavioral science, little evidence supports the hope that suchbehaviorally-based preventive programs will be a significant deterrent to dental disease...Homecare prevention is not for everyone; in fact the number of people who could benefit from suchinstruction may be no more than several hundred per dentist...(emphasis added) The JADA editors introduced this article with a boxed lead-in which flatly stated, "Apreventive oral health care regimen will not succeed for every dental patient." Theres no purposein belaboring the point, although there are probably hundreds --if not thousands --of dentalarticles describing why patients are "too dumb" to take care of their own oral health. Sincedentists are exposed to these attitudes when they enter dental college, and the pressure never letsup after they enter private practice, its no wonder most dentists have a defeatist attitude aboutyour capability to learn commonsense approaches, and then do them. Contrast this to the thousands of case histories in the files of just one Oramedics practice. TheJADA article said "...the number...who could benefit... may be no more than several hundred perdentist." This article is talking about people just like you...it might even be talking about you. Oramedics patients, also, are people just like you. Is there any reason to believe that "onlyseveral hundred" have benefited from that one practice? To prove the effectiveness of theOramedics program, a sample of 1,000 records was selected at random from a total of over10,000 patient files. The average condition at the time of initial patient examination showed an average U.S. NavyPlaque Index count of over 17; and an average lactobacillus acidophilus germ count of 483,000per milliliter of saliva, and with an approximate average of one half billion streptococcus mutansgerms per milliliter. The sampling included patients from ages three through 84; covering a period from 19621
  10. 10. through 1978 (17 years). Because of the average condition upon initial examination, as describedabove: 92% had evidence of active decay: 98% showed definite evidence of inflamed or otherwise diseased gum tissue at the time of initial examination. The sampling showed that some four percent of the records were incomplete, since thepatients had refused the Oramedics program and had left the practice. Another five percent of thepatients had moved away, or for some other reason could not be evaluated as part of this survey.Aside from these "incompletes" or "no longer actives --which comprised only nine percent of theoverall sample group --did the results prove anything about the effectiveness of Oramedics? Hereare the results: Upon final examination on whatever date their six-month re-examination fell closest to 15February 1978, the results were as follows: Average US Navy Plaque Index --2.2 Average Lactobacillus count --720/ml. Not one patient was found to be experiencing any active decay or any evidence that the decayprocess was occurring. Not one patient was found to be experiencing any active gum tissuedisease. Why do you suppose that patients in this one dentists practice were able to consistently "beatthe odds" against disease? The Journal of the American Dental Association article seemed topretty well conclude that most folks simply cant get it together as far as their oral health isconcerned. What makes the difference...? Lets take a look at three letters, all written in 1978: I was Dr. Naras chair-side (Registered Nurse) assistant for over 10 years (1964 to 1975).Being a nurse I suppose that I paid even closer attention to my bosss work than an averageassistant. During the ten years I never saw a single patient who required a filling whose routineNavy Plaque Index was below 3, and whose lacto count routinely registered below 8,000! In myopinion Oramedics will stop dental disease for anyone who follows the concept. --Patricia J. Salani, R.N. I worked for Dr. Nara during 1972 and 1973 as an assistant, both in the office and in thetreatment rooms. During that time my attitude towards dentistry improved 200%. All patients on the Oramedics plan kept their mouths in great shape. It was always a "teameffort" --Dr. Nara, his staff, and the patient. The whole concept makes sense...Oramedics works. --Peg LaBissoniere I have been involved with Oramedics for roughly one year. As a hygienist, I have had theopportunity to personally examine hundreds of Dr. Naras patients. In the majority of these patients I observed the routine standards of Oramedics: Navy PlaqueIndex below 3 and the lactobacillus count below 8,000. Where the mouth was enjoying the Oramedics safe zone I never observed a single area ofnew decay, nor did I detect anything but perfectly healthy gum tissue. It is my professional opinion that as long as the patient maintains the Oramedics standard it1
  11. 11. is practically impossible for them to develop any dental disease. -Alice T. Rauschkolb, Registered Dental HygienistThe point we are not trying to make is that when the Navy Plaque Index is below three and thelacto count below 8,000/mi there wont be any disease. Thats been proven so incontrovertibly itneeds no further argument. The point of this survey, and those letters from professional dentalassistants, is this: In this practice, every active patient went from oral disaster to disease-freehealth. All of them... except the four percent who chose to remain diseased and the five percentwho were registered as "incompletes." Weve already stated that Oramedics offers no "secret medicine," no mythical pill orinoculation which wards off odontosis. To date, there is no such medication (although Oramedicsis working on it). What, then, makes the difference? It is so simple that the entire point can be missed "in thewink of an eyelash." One of the most difficult adjustments to the typical frame of reference isinvolved here, and the statement is so deceptively simple that you must pay careful attention: Conventional dentists really dont tell their patients how. Oramedics Fellows do. Conventionaldentists really dont tell their patients why. Oramedics Fellows do. Conventional dentists haventdiscovered a means of motivating people to care for their own oral health. Why, how and motiveare what Oramedics is all about. The answer to "whats in it for me, as far as oral health is concerned, is the key to yourbecoming orally self sufficient. Comedian George Carlin once said, "You gotta wanna." Isnt thistrue of everything in your own life with any value? In order to achieve, to acquire, to overcome...to do... You have to want to. But theres another side to this, equally important to the human psychological makeup.Wanting to do anything is never enough, as long as the person remains convinced that what heor she wants is out of reach. Thats the critical factor in the war against odontosis: Most people,dentists and laymen alike, may want to do something about this disease...but they dont reallybelieve anything can be done! It took years of effort and research before the principles of Oramedics were developed to thepoint that the average person could believe odontosis was preventable; that the average, ordinarycitizen could defeat this disease forever. Until this becomes the governing frame of reference,theres little hope that the personal attempt at freedom from disease will be effective. You have to want to, sure...but thats not enough. You also have to believe you can! Thats the whole point of telling you about the survey of Dr. Naras patients...and sharingthose letters with you, letters written by oral health professionals. Thats the point of Money ByThe Mouthful, the companion to this book...and it is the point of much of what youll read fromhere on. Once more, for effect: Your frame of reference about odontosis now must become that alldental disease is wholly preventable today --and that ordinary folks, using ordinary materials, areable consistently to achieve freedom from that disease. Once you become wholly convinced that this is an achievable goal, youre halfway to theright frame of reference. The other half, of course: You have to want to. Whats in it for you andfor your family almost goes without saying, but there are a few statistics you may find interesting:1
  12. 12. Take a look at illustration 1, a graph of oral health costs. While its obvious that we aretalking about an average --your own case will be either less costly or more costly than $16,500over a lifetime the ratio would still be fairly applicable. The cost of reparative and replacementdentistry is something on the order of seventeen times as expensive as preventive oral health care. The comparison of financial outlay, as revealing as it is, misses one point completely: Manyfamilies or individuals simply cannot and do not invest anywhere near this much money in theirdental health. In many cases, at around age 40 (when the graph takes a sharp upward curve,financially) the person simply "gives up," electing for dentures rather than the burdensomeinvestment needed for bridgework, root canals, etc. Your money or your teeth, fate seems to be demanding when we hit early middle age...youapparently arent allowed to keep both. And thats wrong! What other incentives are there to become dentally self-sufficient, besides financial gain andthe "right" to keep your teeth for a lifetime? -What about freedom from pain? Anyone who hasever experienced a toothache will be able to see the incentive in not suffering another. Anyonewho has ever had an abscessed tooth, or undergone a painful extraction, or who remembers themaddening sounds and sensations of having a tooth drilled and filled, will fully understand theincentive of not going through these things again. Theres more: Anyone who has paid the price of having a childs crooked teeth braced, andwho learns that this, too, could probably have been avoided ...will understand the incentive ofgood oral health. Parents who love their children and who want to help them avoid the socialproblems of diseased or crooked, unsightly teeth will understand the incentives involved. Incentive...? This whole book should help you with your incentive to become dentally self-sufficient; and thats good, because we cant do it without you. Becoming self-sufficient impliesthat you are going to make a self-investment. If you are content to let others do things for you,you have no reason to continue with this book, or this program...because it wont work for youunless you work for it. We cant make you dentally self-sufficient unless you do your part. For our part, we canprove to you that it will work; and we can show you how. We can even give you all theinformation necessary to prove to you that you can do it; just like thousands of other "ordinarypeople" before you. We can help you understand why and how. Thats our part.--Whats your part? ...Easy: You have to want to. Remember the old saying, "Where theres a will, theres a way." Your will, and Oramedics way,can lead you to freedom from dental disease and help you become dentally self-sufficient.1
  13. 13. Chapter Three - What must I do to be dentally self-sufficient? In its simplest form, the answer to that question is: You must get rid of active disease in yourmouth; you must make sure you prevent any recurrence, and you must ultimately make somedecisions about having present disease damage repaired. Step One Lets take these steps one at a time. First and most important, there is active disease in yourmouth; there is active disease in the mouths of members of your family. Unless you fall into thecategory of those who are naturally immune, odontosis is at war against your oral health rightnow. Who is immune? --Statistically, some two percent of the worlds population has a highdegree of immunity from odontosis; some of them even seem to have a total immunity. We dont know for sure why this is, but theres a good way for you to determine whether youfall into that category. You can go through the first step, the Lactobacillus Saliva Test, the sameas everyone else. If youve never done anything in particular to keep your oral health ship-shape,and have never suffered cavities or any other oral disease symptom, and if your lacto count isunder 8,000 naturally --you are probably immune. The odds against you are 50 to 1: If you weregambling something besides your oral health, you probably would not bet against those odds, soits a "safe bet" that you have odontosis. Must of us have no problem concluding that we have active disease. Instead, the question is:"What do I do about it?" Before you can begin any response to this disease, you should first be aware of the extent ofthe problem. Dont expect your old frame of reference to work, now. This is nothing like having adentist tell you, "Yep...you have two cavities..." (or whatever). We want you to begin thinking of odontosis as you would expect to think of diseaseelsewhere in your body. In other words, you should know what causes it and how it operates; andyou should begin to think in terms of diagnosis, clinical tests and individualized approaches totherapy. In Chapter Five youll find a step-by-step explanation of odontosis and its three most easilyrecognized forms; cariosis, gingivosis and periodontosis. You neednt take the time now to studythat chapter --just remember it is there as a reference for your use later. At present all you need tobe reminded of is that odontosis, like so many other diseases, is caused by germs: Lactobacillusacidophilus and streptococcus mutans, to name the principal bad actors. These germs create a waste by-product that makes a film on your teeth --and particularlybetween your teeth --in which the germs colonize. Now another by-product...acid...begins to"insult" tooth enamel, resulting in cavities. The disease process continues, ultimately causing other symptoms which you recognize asgum problems. Frame of reference: Cavities, gum problems, sore gums --often bleeding --toothaches, abscessed teeth... all of these are symptoms. Weve been trained since childhood tothink of these things as the sources of our troubles. They are not the source (cause). They are alleffects (symptoms) of a hidden cause --disease. Now, obviously: If the disease is caused by germs, all we have to do is get rid of the germsand were home free, right? --Well, in a manner of speaking, thats right. But we cant "have a shot" to get rid of these1
  14. 14. germs; and there are no pills which will make them "go away." If we did have such an injectionor medicine, youd simply end up "catching" these same kinds of germs all over again, sooner orlater. We have to get rid of them, and keep them absent, in order to be free of odontosis. And so,like so many other diseases, we begin our war on germs with a test; one which will determine theextent of the present involvement and become a point of departure for our therapy. This test is called the "Lactobacillus Saliva Culture" or, more simply, the Oramedics SalivaTest. It is performed at a laboratory, using a sample of your saliva which you mailed, yourself, ina special container. Technicians at the lab will use special equipment which enables them to actually count thenumber of lactobacillus in a given amount of saliva to come up with the germ count per milliliterof saliva. There is a well-established mathematical relationship of the number of strep mutansgerms present for a given number of lacto germs, and so the technicians can determine the extentof both microorganisms from this one test. When a saliva test is below 8,000 lacto per ml. of saliva (consistently), that mouth is probably--almost certainly --without cariosis. Anything over 8,000 is moving into the danger zone. It isnot unusual for the average person to have a lacto count in the tens or hundreds of thousands permilliliter. This would be true even alter a visit to a dentist; perhaps especially after a trip to a dentist.Why? Colonized germs would have been disturbed by the exploring, drilling or scraping. Thenumber of germs present in "free" saliva would be increased. This wouldnt invalidate the test interms of establishing the presence of disease, it would simply give an incorrect "reading" of theoral environment. It is not unusual to encounter a saliva test result of 500,000 lactobacillus per ml. of saliva.This would mean --incredibly --that there are 500 million strep mutans germs per milliliter. Now, even when youre talking about things as tiny as germs, anybody will recognize that ahalf billion of anything is a "whole bunch" of em. Considering that the only "safe" level of thesegerms is less than 8,000...the saliva test instantly tells us: 1. Whether disease is present (confirming your suspicion); 2. What extent the germs have set up housekeeping; 3. What logical steps to take from here on out. For an analogy --although admittedly its like comparing oranges to tangerines, which arentquite the same --think of a doctor being almost sure, from symptoms, that you have diabetes.Would he immediately start you on insulin therapy without making any tests, without analyzingyour individual, personal situation? --What if he was wrong; the symptoms seemed like diabetes,but that wasnt really the disease? Or...what if he was right? Should he prescribe oral insulin, orinjections? How much? How often? What about your diet: Would he simply suggest that you"avoid sugar, and visit your doctor every six months for a check-up?" No, of course he would do none of these things. He would use a well-established, definitiveclinical testing approach so that he was sure; and so that he knew what you need, as an individual.Then --and only then --would he discuss things like medicine, therapy, diet control, and your ownresponsibilities in achieving personal freedom from disease.1
  15. 15. To take the saliva test, you first obtain a specimen bottle and instructions. Oramedics offersthis through the mail. As with many other things, Oramedics is not the only place, ororganization, which offers saliva tests...but they are hard to locate even for conventional dentists,who usually dont bother with them. Finding a laboratory which would deal directly with thepublic would be extremely difficult. If you can obtain satisfactory testing elsewhere, and want to, of course you should. If not, youmay obtain the saliva specimen bottle and instructions from Oramedics. Once you have this, you will, upon rising in the morning, chew a small piece of sterile waxprovided in the test kit, then spit in the special bottle, seal it tightly, and drop it in the mail. It ispre-addressed to the laboratory. The laboratory will return its findings to the doctor or agency sponsoring your test and,together with the other personal history youve given, it can be used to establish a diagnosis aboutthe present state of your oral environment, and suggest a course of action to correct it,individualized for your personal condition. A second benefit of the saliva test is that after you have begun the recommended corrective"treatment" you can check your progress by re-testing at appropriate intervals. Obviously,secondary testing can reassure you that you are progressing...and it can also disclose anycontinuing problem. You may have unsuspected nutritional difficulties. You may have a severe dietary problem.You may have need for closer supervision or additional instruction. For whatever reason, if youare embarked on a program of becoming self sufficient, the tests will show you absolutelywhether your program is working --or whether you need additional help. "To test is to know...not to test is to guess." For those who are enrolled in the full through-themail Oramedics self-help program, the testing is mandatory...and for a very good reason.Oramedics doctors refuse to guess, on a matter as important as a patients oral health, when it isso easy and virtually foolproof to test. Step Two After testing, the next step in your program of oral self sufficiency is to learn about oral hygiene.Be careful of your present frame of reference on this point. because there are hundreds ofthousands of Americans wandering around out there, convinced they are taking good care of theirmouths...and they are not. More than ten years ago, writing for other dentists, Dr. Basil G. Bibby, D.M.D., wrote anarticle, "Do we Tell the Truth About Preventing Caries? in the Journal of Dentistry for Children,Vol. 33, 1966. Lets "drop in" on that article, shall we? There have been few more successful educational programs than the one which hasconvinced the American people of the desirability of tooth brushing as an adjunct to oral hygiene.It now rates close to motherhood in respectability. Its promotion gives the dentist something totalk about and the dentifrice manufacturer good advertising angles. Commerce being what it is,the manufacturer cannot be blamed if he oversells oral hygiene for the purpose for which he is inbusiness. The same cannot be said of the dentist, whose very title of Doctor suggests that heshould be teaching the most up-to-date information on the subject.1
  16. 16. Dr. Bibby then asks other dentists: Is it correct to say that brushing the teeth will prevent dental decay, or have we repeatedthis statement so often that, as the ultimate victims of propaganda, we have become incapableof questioning it? One does not have to be against brushing the teeth to question its value inpreventing dental decay...Emphasis added No, Oramedics is not "against" tooth brushing. (Were not "against" motherhood, either...)What Oramedics wants the world to know, even if the profession doesnt (yet), is that toothbrushing alone wont do the job; and tooth brushing ineffectively is --aside from making you feelgood cosmetically --probably a waste of time. Worse than that: If you are a conscientious tooth brusher, and have believed the toothpastecommercials, you are with dentists as far as Dr. Bibby would be concerned: You are an "ultimatevictim of propaganda." You are a victim, in this case, because youve come to believe (frame ofreference) in your efforts at oral hygiene: You feel that youre doing all you can and should do.That attitude leads, almost inevitably, to odontosis...no matter what you think your tooth brushingis doing for you. You will need to learn a great deal more about oral hygiene; and you will, in this book...afteryouve learned more about the way your mouth is put together, and what the chemistry is like inthere, and so on. For now, please understand that for the rest of your odontosis-free life the one single mostimportant thing you will personally be involved in is oral hygiene. This one area is yours,exclusively and individually: You can be shown how, but only you can provide the initiative andthe persistence it will require. Understand, also, that we are not going to ask you to go to extraordinary lengths, to becomeso involved in oral hygiene it becomes oppressive. In fact many folks have discovered that theright approach to oral hygiene is less time-consuming, less restrictive and easier to maintain thantheir former hit-and-miss, guilt-laden routine of alternate frenzy and lapse; self satisfaction anddespair. Step Three The next stage of oral health self sufficiency is to become knowledgeable about teachingothers in your family; caring for babies, infants and children. You should (and will) also come toknow about how to respond to toothache pain and what to do in emergencies: Oral / dental "firstaid." In order to help you with this, we will take you in easy steps through the necessary technicalinformation. You wont be deluged with big words and abstract concepts, although well make apoint of telling you what some of those big words mean; and what some of those concepts imply.It is during this phase of your reading and doing that you will become familiar with the chaptersof this book that, later on, you can use for your reference library.1
  17. 17. Step Four Sooner or later, you will probably require the services of a dentist. Youve had odontosis longenough now, probably, that there is irreversible damage to your teeth. We are speaking of damagewhich nature cannot repair without assistance, when we mention irreversible damage: The kindwe are now talking about is repairable damage. In a sense, the distinction is that you will need to have some things fixed that cant be healed.For those problems, the only solution is reparative dentistry: The kind of dentistry that anycompetent Doctor of Dental Surgery is prepared to perform. This is not a contradiction, in a book about becoming self sufficient, when we suggest thatyou will ultimately have to obtain corrective help from a doctor. Only a doctor has the requisitethousands of hours of education, the skill and experience, the equipment, and the legal right toactually "operate" on your teeth. While it should be the last time you require this kind of help, the odds are that you will haveto have it at least once more after youve become self sufficient. For that, we will help youunderstand what is needed and how to go about getting it done properly. In brief, you will firstachieve freedom from disease; then freedom from earlier symptoms... and then remain free ofboth the disease and the symptoms.1
  18. 18. Chapter Four - Physiology - the anatomy of the mouth We could have titled this chapter What goes on in your mouth, to avoid using words thatcreate images of musty classrooms and dull subjects. However, your understanding of your oralhealth depends to some extent on your knowledge of --well --what goes on in your mouth; and toconvey that understanding, we need to go into some accurate details. To take some of the negative connotations from those two words, lets look at how onedictionary defines them: Physiology --The science dealing with the functions of living organisms or their parts. Anatomy --The science dealing with the structure of animals and plants. In this chapter we are going to look at the structure of your mouth (anatomy); and were goingto go into how those parts work together in natural harmony when your oral health is good; andhow those parts sometimes come into conflict when your oral health is bad (physiology). If that isnt "what goes on in your mouth," it will do until better definitions come along.Before now, if you are like most people, youve always thought of your mouth as one part of thebody that "just is," without any rhyme or reason. When it works, its okay; when you "get badteeth," its unavoidable --and when, after middle age, your teeth fall out or get pulled out to makeway for 2500 worth of plastic junk, thats the way nature planned it...right? --Wrong! As with every other part and process of the human body, we are learning more and more thateverything nature puts into the package has a value. When these parts are working together asnature planned it, good health is almost invariably the result. What can prevent the proper operation of these parts? What actually causes ill health? A fairgeneralization would be that we have only two enemies fighting against our natural health--Natural enemies, and--Ourselves. It seems odd, upon reflection, that all of us dont know a lot more about our oral health thanwe do. After all, we are an educated people. Why is common knowledge so lacking when itcomes to our mouths? Why is oral health such a mystery? Perhaps it has something to do with the time lapse between professional, scientificunderstanding; and the "trickle down" process whereby that understanding reaches public schoolsand "general knowledge." Science hasnt known much of the truth about the mouth until comparatively recent times. Tobegin with, it is a fact that dental science has not kept pace with other physical and medicalsciences. The store of dependable, factual knowledge about oral health is just now beginning toplay catch-up with other medicine. This makes it even more interesting to note what one authorityin medical research had to say:1
  19. 19. ...in the age-old struggle to promote medicine from a craft to a science there has been moreprogress in the past thirty years than in the previous two thousand. This progress is not as suddenas it seems. What is happening is that earlier discoveries about the natural history of health anddisease are now being applied in the actual diagnosis and treatment of illness... Many of the newer methods of treating and preventing illness depend on the patientsunderstanding and co-operation. Hippocrates, 24 centuries ago, said that a doctor must teach hispatients to care for their own health, but until recently most doctors seem to have thought it wasbad for patients to know too much...--Wingate, 1412 (emphasis added) Two comments on Wingates statement are in order. First: "Earlier discoveries about naturalhealth and disease history are now being applied." In the library at Oramedics International thereis a copy of an extremely rare antique book written in 1819 by Dr. Levi S. Parmly. He wrote,"The brush should at first be but gently applied, and then particular care taken to pass the waxedsilk in the interstices, and round the necks of the teeth, where lodgements of the food (the causesof disease) are usually formed." More than a century and a half ago, this dentist made an accurate, brilliant deduction from hisdiscovery, and for the first time, ever, told people what to do to prevent oral disease. His findingswere not based on scientific research but upon simply and thoughtfully observing the naturalorder of things and using his brain to come up with some solutions. The other noteworthy thing about Dr. Wingates comments is that he freely admits themedical profession has all but ignored Hippocrates 24-centuries old admonition that doctorsshould "teach patients to care for their own health." Given these prevailing attitudes in the professions; and the fact that most of the significantresearch advances have taken place within three or four decades at the most, it becomesunderstandable why "common knowledge" about oral health is still somewhere in the dark agesof superstition. There is no way the public would know about these things until the professionfirst understood them and then, secondly, was willing and able to tell patients about them. We will begin our quest for knowledge about the physiology and anatomy of the mouth byfirst outlining the boundaries: We are talking about everything from just inside the lips to the rearextremity of the tongue; and will include a look at teeth, bone, tissue, muscle, glands, nerves andblood vessels. Teeth fit into the jawbone in what we commonly call sockets, and which are correctly termedalveoli; small cavities or sockets in the body. The singular term is an alveolus, and the wordsdescribe any body cavity--such as, for example, the air pockets inside the lung where the carbondioxide-oxygen transfer takes place. The development of teeth in children is of concern to all parents and it is important to realizehow critical diet and nutrition are to healthy teeth. In a child, while the baby teeth are all visible,the permanent teeth are forming... in many cases, are nearly completely formed... and are waitingin alveoli beneath the baby-teeth sockets. While we cant see them --and the child cant "feel"them --they are there. At one point during the dental development, there are 52 teeth competingfor space in the oral structure. Actually, the first activity in the formation of teeth commences sometime during about theseventh week of the mothers pregnancy.1
  20. 20. It is totally incorrect to assume that we have no concern for oral health in children until theirteeth begin to appear. In Chapter Nine we will go into ways of caring for infants and youngchildren; for now we need to understand that dental and oral health first begins in the embryo. After birth, long before any teeth have broken through the gum (erupted), physical processeshaving much to do with ultimate dental health are active . Calcification of the permanent teeth begins shortly after birth and begins to accelerate atabout the time the baby teeth begin to erupt. It becomes apparent that proper care for mothersnutrition during pregnancy, and for the infants nutrition during the early months and years of life,will have a far-reaching effect on that childs adult dental health. Children’s teeth begin to appear, and continue to erupt, approximately on this schedule: lower central incisors six to nine months upper incisors eight to ten months lower lateral incisors/first molars fifteen to 21 months canines 10 to 20 months second molars 20 to 21 months Permanent teeth will replace the baby teeth; ordinarily with those in the lower jaw slightlypreceding teeth in the upper jaw. The schedule for permanent teeth is approximately: 6-1/2 years first molars 7th year two middle incisors 8th year two lateral incisors 9th year first bicuspid 10th year second bicuspid 11th to 12th year canine 12th to 13th year second molars 17th to 21st year third molars C. S. Tomes, Grays Anatomy Illustration 2 is a cross section of a typical tooth, showing the principal elements of itsstructure. Note that the entire exterior of the tooth which protrudes from the gum is covered withenamel. This is a barrier tissue: More about that later in this chapter. Beneath the enamel is alayer of dentin which surrounds the nerve chamber. The roots of the tooth of course are part ofthe system which anchors teeth to the jawbone; notice that they also contain passageway for thenerve and circulatory system serving that tooth. (The tooth in Illustration 2 also showsdevelopment of odontosis; see explanation accompanying that illustration.) The outer covering of the roots is a material some what similar to enamel but softer and lessresistant to attacks by acids and/or microbes. It is called cementum. Not shown in the illustration --because it would be virtually impossible to draw themanywhere near actual scale --are the thousands of microscopic connective tissues which helpanchor the tooth to gum and jawbone. These are extremely important to oral health. Comparethem to the guy wires that hold telephone poles upright against lateral strain. These tiny and individually quite fragile connective tissues completely surround the tooth,anchoring it to the adjacent gum and jawbone. Performing a role very similar to guy wires, they1
  21. 21. hold the tooth in place and prevent it from becoming "loosened" in its socket; they also act asshock absorbers when chewing or "grinding the teeth." Studies show that teeth withstandpressures upwards of 30,000 pounds per square inch during these activities, much of it comingfrom an infinite variety of angles. Under such pressures, coming from every direction, the bone of the jaw and teeth wouldsimply crack or shatter if it werent for the anchoring and shock absorbing capability of theconnective tissue. The gums cover the jawbone and the lower portion of the teeth...or the upper portion, in thecase of the upper teeth. Gums do not adhere to the tooth completely; at the gumline (the edge ofthe gum from which the teeth protrude) there is no adhesion. A popcorn kernel "stuck in there" isall the proof needed. Near-adhesion occurs further down inside the gum --the connective tissuescreate what is, for all practical purposes, a bond between tooth and gum. Gums are covered with an outer layer of epithelium --the same kind of body cell structurewhich makes up "skin." In the case of the gums, however, this "skin" is only one cell thick. Someauthorities refer to it as a mucous membrane. In trying to understand how thin one cell ofthickness is, imagine taking a square sheet of this skin about the size of a postage stamp andcuring it so that it was stiff and flat. Now, turn it so that you are viewing this "stamp" directlyfrom the edge-onward: It would disappear. Unaided human vision is not capable of seeingsomething this thin. The outer tissue of the gum is also a barrier tissue, as is the enamel of the teeth. Before we gointo this, lets include the other oral barrier tissues: Beginning with the interior of the lips, the "skin" inside the entire oral cavity is only one cellthick. This includes the covering of the tongue, the walls of the cheek, the bottom and top of themouth... everything. The change from "skin" as we ordinarily think of it, to this unimaginablythin membrane in the mouth, occurs with the lips at a point called the vermilion border. Fromouter cheek, progressing inward, the thickness of epithelium decreases. As we pass the borderwhere the lips become part of the interior of the mouth, the decrease to single-cell thickness takesplace. In spite of its delicate structure, this layer of membrane has the unique property of being abarrier tissue. What this means is that germs and a host of other dangerous or detrimentalsubstances or organisms cant get through it...and it is, ordinarily, not affected by them. This is very much not the case with internal tissue. Muscle tissue, bone marrow, nerve tissue,tooth dentin... and more inside parts of the human system... have no protection from biologicalwarfare. Perhaps the best way to understand this is to think of how youve always known to be carefulwith a "cut" so it does not become infected. Why is that? --Simply because whatever "infects" hasno effect on skin; you simply wash it off and forget it. But --in a cut --whaammo! --Infection, Why does a tooth "decay" if it gets a cavity... and not decay in the absence of cavities? Again:The enamel is not affected by microbiological attack; it "ignores" germs. When you get a hole inthis barrier tissue it creates an avenue of access for decay-causing pathogens, and these attack theunprotected interior of the tooth. Thus, the shining, unbroken enamel of teeth and the healthy pink glow of good gums is farmore important to your health than to your cosmetic welfare. The further from peak health thesebarrier tissues stray, the more likely they are to break down and admit disease-bearing organismsinto the bone and tissue beneath them.1
  22. 22. Salivary Glands The unsung heroes of dental health are the salivary glands. Because our society has longconsidered "spit" to be inelegant, most of us remain blissfully unaware of where spit comes fromand what it does for us. Where it comes from is simple: At the rear of the jaw, near the ear, theresa large salivary gland on each side of your head. There are smaller glands at the side of the lowerjawbone and in front, under the tongue. (Did you ever wonder why a dill pickle caused an odd,tight or tingling sensation way at the back of your jaw, almost at the ear?... Now you know: Thesalivary glands react to stimuli and "do their thing" --they make saliva.) What it does for us is a long story. First, of course, saliva lubricates the interior of the mouthand keeps the fragile membranes from drying out; from cracking and splitting. This wetting function also serves to help process food as we chew; creating the rightconsistency and beginning the chemical process of digestion. The almost constant flow of saliva throughout the mouth continually washes the teeth andtissue surfaces, carrying debris into the alimentary canal "pipeline" through the body. Thealimentary canal, incidentally, originates with the mouth and includes in order the mouth, thepharynx, the esophagus, the stomach and the intestines. Saliva contains many chemicals created by the body for the specific purpose of caring for theteeth. Among these are chemicals which enhance healing of cavities, retard the bad effects ofgerm by-products, alleviate the damage of acid and... believe it or not... can "confuse" germs andactually convince them to stop producing acid. On the minus side of the ledger: Part of the chemical composition of saliva which helps torestore the calcium of teeth is also indicated as responsible for deposits of calculus at thegumline. These deposits are the forerunner of gum disease; part of the lineup of "bad guys" inoral health. Of course, if we are properly caring for our oral hygiene these deposits never get a chance tobuild up; so theres no problem. There is little that an individual can do, or avoid doing, to influence the production of salivaor to modify its chemical composition. We simply wanted you to know that the presence of salivais vital to your oral health; and to observe two points of interest which are under your control:1. Production of saliva falls off during sleep; most of us are mouth-breathers or partially mouth-breathers during sleep. All of the benefits of saliva decrease during this period. What can you doabout that? --Avoid going to sleep routinely without first preparing your mouth, through hygiene,for the forthcoming "dry spell."2. Production of saliva and the content of saliva are definitely affected by nutrition andmedication. In Chapter Seven this will be more thoroughly discussed. If, for example, you takeprescription drugs for weight loss or sleeplessness or "nervous tension," (or if you just like to pop"uppers" and "downers" for the fun of it), you are probably seriously interfering with the naturalprocesses of your saliva.1
  23. 23. If it fits... Teeth come in during youth and many people suspect there is nothing on earth that willdecide whether they come in crooked or "pretty." Not so: The muscles of the tongue and cheek,the shape and musculature of the jawbone, the location of the alveoli... all of these make adifference. Chapter Eleven describes something called a Mixed Dentition Analysis which can beperformed early in life and which will accurately predict any developing space shortage andalignment problems. If these are detected early enough, the correction is often quite easy andinexpensive. Left to themselves such problems lead to orthodontic correction (braces) with asteep price in both money and cosmetic (personality) problems. Special problems aside, most of us find that our teeth come in fairly well in alignment; theydo a good job of biting and grinding and we seldom think of how they "fit together. We shouldthink about it more often! Adjacent teeth are meant to be close together. It is unusual for the teeth to be spacedthroughout the mouth so as to leave visible gaps between them. A few teeth may be distinctlyseparated, but usually many more of them are so close together as to be thought of as touchingeach other. In some cases, adjacent teeth do contact over at least part of their surface. This touching or near touching relationship between teeth has a naturally beneficial purpose,obviously --or nature would not have used this construction. But it is also adverse to oral healthwhen hygiene is misunderstood or improperly employed. Why? In the section on pathology (the science of the development and mechanisms of disease),Chapter Five, you will learn much more about how odontosis operates. For now, you shouldknow that the confined spaces between the teeth are, from a germs viewpoint, the size ofmetropolitan cities. Most of us follow the dentists advice to brush our teeth with at least some regularity. Someof us even believe in the fable that we are to brush after every meal if we want to be free ofdisease. --Not that its bad to brush often; the fable is that this, alone, will prevent disease. Ofcourse, it doesnt. Very few of us ever learn that one of the most important aspects of competent oral hygiene isto clean between adjacent teeth; and not just so as to make the enamel surfaces cosmeticallyclean... they must become, and remain, hygienically clean. Finally, in discussing the teeth themselves, we should be aware of something dentists call pitsand fissures. No amount of verbal explanation could do a better job of describing and definingthese surfaces than you can do for yourself, with the tip of your tongue. Touch your tongue to thechewing surfaces of your "big" teeth: The molars, the bicuspids...the food grinders, as opposed tobiters. Feel the complex patterns of ups and downs, the hills and valleys (pits and fissures). Some of these hollows are narrow, deep and with interior surfaces which trap food particlesand debris. More importantly, they are harbors for the colonization of germs. Here again, weencounter a part of the oral anatomy that most people take woefully for granted; a part that youmust forever after remain aware of. The pits and fissures are places where you and your childrenhave gotten cavities before...and will again, unless you successfully overcome odontosis. With this expanded understanding of "what goes on in your mouth" you should be able tocontinue reading, and understanding, the disease called odontosis; its effects, its prevention andwhat to do about the leftover damage symptoms of former disease. This is, of course, a minimumknowledge and you are strongly encouraged to read, if you have not already, Money By TheMouthful and Research Advocates Oramedics, which are companions to this book. Another bookwell worth having in your home medical library, and which is available in paperback, is the near-legendary Grays Anatomy.1
  24. 24. Grays will tell you virtually anything you wish to know about the human body. For ourpurposes, the section describing the composition and function of the mouth is an outstandingstudy, to which we wholeheartedly commend you. Please refer back to this chapter as often as necessary when you embark on subsequentchapters dealing with the mechanics and function of the disease, or with the elements of personalhygiene. No one part of this book is intended to stand completely by itself, and so you will findmore information on physiology and anatomy elsewhere. This chapter, aside from becoming areference, was intended to assist you in that later reading. Hopefully, you are now aware that your mouth and teeth didnt "just happen," any more thandisease or its prevention just happens. All of the parts in your mouth work in a natural harmonyand when they are working right, with your help, they should last for longer than your lifetime. Maybe thats why Dr. Parmly said, in the forward to his book 150-odd years ago, "The greatdistress which usually accompanies, and the inconvenience which follows the loss of the teeth,makes the discovery of some mode of prevention of caries very desirable." Right on, Levi! --Thats what its all about...1
  25. 25. Chapter Five - A summary of odontosis Odontosis...dental disease...is pathogenic: It is caused by germs. Its most apparent symptomsare infections. We are all familiar with this relationship elsewhere in the body. What seemsobvious at first glance is a critical adjustment to the frame of reference, so remember: We arenow discussing dental disease. Bring your old familiarities with you to this "new" part of yourbody. Were looking at a disease mechanism... in the mouth. Cariosis Cavities are holes through tooth enamel into the soft interior, usually with decay (infection)involved. These cavities are symptoms; they are effects, not causes. Dentists often refer to anystage of this process as caries, although properly speaking there is no infection at first. The process is initiated by a carious lesion, the early assault on the tooth enamel itself.Oramedics has named this particular member of the odontosis family cariosis because its mostapparent symptom is the presence of cavities. If cariosis is brought under control the disease process is halted. Even if there has beenmassive damage, the teeth can usually be repaired. In fact, research in the past few years tells usthat teeth with early cavity damage can heal themselves once the disease is eliminated from theoral environment. Gingivosis Puffy, tender, "off-color" gums are symptoms of odontosis in its next stage after cariosis.Dentists frequently refer to this disease as gingivitis. Oramedics calls it gingivosis. Infection anddamage are present, but probably no irreversible harm has been done. Oral bone and tissue havean amazing self-restorative ability once disease has been eliminated. The relatively mild symptoms of gingivosis are deceptively dangerous, however, because themildness often encourages neglect. Almost inevitably, this results in odontosis moving into itsultimate and most critical stage: Periodontosis This is the gravest disease problem in the oral health field; and it is Americas most prevalenthealth disorder. Conventional dentists refer to periodontosis as "periodontal disease,""periodontitis" or "pyorrhea. It is a disease characterized by the formation of pus in the pocketsbetween the root of the tooth and surrounding tissues and is frequently --in fact, almost invariably--accompanied by the loss of teeth. Although cariosis is considered the gravest childhood problem, gingivosis and periodontosisalso commence early in life and become the arch destroyer of adult oral health. The AmericanMedical Association blames a huge share of all physical health disorders on these oral healthproblems.1
  26. 26. The mechanism of odontosis The germs which cause odontosis, principally, are streptococcus mutans and lactobacillusacidophilus. These germs are frequently (ordinarily) found in the mouth and, unless they can becontrolled, odontosis will be present to some degree when the numbers of these germs reach acertain level. They are always present in mouths with active odontosis. Most research agrees that when these germs are free floating, in a disorganized condition,they are not particularly harmful. Lactobacillus may even have a beneficial role in whole-bodyhealth elsewhere in the digestive system. There is no evidence that lactobacillus has any beneficial function in the mouth, however; andno evidence exists, which gives streptococcus mutans a beneficial role anywhere in the system. The key to whether these germs are doing harm is to find out how many there are in the oralenvironment. A simple test can provide that answer, and that will determine whether the germsare organized. If they are, theres active disease. It is as simple as that. There is no evidence that the severityof the disease has anything to do with virulence of the germs: There is apparently no degree ofvirulence involved. It isnt how strong the germs are... it is a question of how many there are. The germs feed on food wastes and then excrete their own wastes. One of their products iscalled dextrans. Combined with other debris in the mouth, this sticky substance forms a filmcalled plaque in the mouth, which is then deposited on the teeth. Germs settle in the plaque andform organized and swiftly-growing colonies; making even more plaque in a vicious cycle. When enough plaque has built up, germs get between it and tooth enamel, where they areshielded from air. In this anaerobic environment they not only thrive, they are now able to dodamage. The germs convert sugar into acid. In fact, within seconds after you eat sugar the acidproduction increases enormously and doesnt taper off for hours. The acid is trapped, by theplaque, "dammed up" against the tooth enamel. It is important to note that "sugar" doesntnecessarily mean raw sugar, such as candy. Sugar in this case means any food the germsrecognize as sugar, or that the body can break down into sugar. Carbohydrates are "sugar" as faras this disease mechanism is concerned; the soft white bread so prevalent in supermarkets todayis worse for you than caramel candy! Remember, however, it is not the sugar that causes the acid; it is a disease mechanism. If thegerms were not organized and shielded by plaque, sugar would be relatively insignificant inodontosis. When odontosis is present, however, the acids attack tooth enamel, causing carious lesionsuntil the enamel is perforated. The enamel performs an important function: It prevents germsfrom reaching the softer "insides" of the teeth, which have no defense against infection. Since the inside of the tooth has little protection from decay-producing germs, any holethrough the enamel gives strep mutans, lacto and any other germs in the mouth a doorway intovulnerable tissue. Result: Decay and eventual nerve chamber infection ... the agony and extremehealth danger we call an abscess. While the acids are eating at enamel, plaque continues its dirty work. A buildup of plaque atand slightly below the gumline begins to harden into mineral-like deposits called tartar orcalculus. In effect, small dams are built at the base of the teeth, backing up still more debris andplaque, which in turn hardens into place. Germs --and not only strep and lacto --colonize in these"swamps" where the trapped and decaying oral debris provides food for explosive growth. Tartar and calculus are rough; the sandpaper effect can soon wear through the outermembrane of gum tissue. That external layer is only one cell thick. Like enamel, it is a germbarrier. When that barrier is disabled, the waiting germs have access to inner tissues.1
  27. 27. Once again, infection is the result: Gingivosis. Also... any germ which reaches unprotectedinner body tissue can be transported by the blood stream. Many diseases in other parts of the bodyhave their first "breakthrough" inside a mouth suffering from odontosis. Teeth are held in place by numerous tiny, filament like connective tissues which anchor teethand gum together, in a manner suggestive of telephone pole guy wires. They allow teeth to flexenough to absorb the shock and torque of chewing, yet hold them firmly in their proper place,snugged into their sockets in the jawbone. When these miniature marvels of natures construction are attacked by infection, abraded byrough deposits, insulted by acids; they begin to "let go" as they are destroyed. This is the work of periodontosis, the destroyer. As connective tissues fail the gum begins topull away from the tooth, and this widening gap forms "pockets" below the gumline. If thestagnant pools of gingivosis are swamps, then the pockets of periodontosis are cesspools. Everwidening, ever deepening, these pockets can accelerate the destruction of connective tissue; theygive germs access to the bone support of the teeth. Infection --bone infection --often results. The teeth, of course, have lost both connective tissue and bone support. They get loose and, ifunchecked, periodontosis will ultimately claim all of the teeth.1
  28. 28. Chapter Six - Materials and Equipment Before we begin a discussion of personal oral hygiene its appropriate to take a look at someof the materials and equipment youll need, or perhaps want, to help you with the job. In thefollowing chapter well discuss some chemicals (medicines) you should know about; this chapteris more of an outline for your home dental care supply cabinet.You should have, at minimum: --One or more toothbrushes for every family member --Dental tape --Disclosing tablets --Interdental stimulators --Dentifrice In addition to these items, you may want to have these materials or devices: --Toothdrops, N.F. (National Formulary). This is zinc oxide--eugenol, and will be discussed more fully in this chapter. --"Cavit" (a ready-mixed temporary filling material) --A hydraulic cleaning device (oral irrigator) such as a "WaterPik" or "Ora-Jet" --A tooth polishing device such as a "Porta-Pro" --An electric toothbrush such as the "Sonic-Quad Pacer" --A special lighted mirror, such as the "Floxite" Before we continue, a word about trade marked items mentioned in this book: Wheneverappropriate to help the reader understand what we are talking about, we will use the brand nameof a common product or device. This does not necessarily imply that the manufacturer of thatproduct endorses Oramedics. It does imply that Oramedics considers that trade marked item orbrand...or manufacturer ...to be reliable. However, no actual endorsement is to be construedunless, in context, specific endorsement is made. Such, for example, would be the case with the "Floxite" mirror. This product is available atsome first-rate dental offices or drugstores and is highly regarded by Oramedics practitioners.Oramedics endorses the product; there is no agreement whatever with the manufacturer regardingmention of either company or product in this book. Now, lets go over that minimum list of supplies, one at a time. First of all: The toothbrush. Rule Number One of toothbrushes is dont buy cheap. The usual frame of reference regard-ing toothbrushes seems to be that they are all alike; people will cheerfully spend more for a bar ofbath soap than they will for a toothbrush. Why is "smelling pretty" more important than oralhealth? --Nobody knows. There is a significant difference in the quality of toothbrushes and while it isnt directlyrelated to cost, it stands to reason that to a certain extent you get what you pay for. An example ofvery good quality name brand brushes would be the "Reach" brush and those made by Butler, andthe "Oral B" brand. Each member of the family should have at least one brush; and it should be selected with afew guidelines in mind.1
  29. 29. First: If the oral health is not good, especially if the person has not been a frequent toothbrusher in the past, begin with a soft bristle brush. Its a common misconception that the betterbrushes are stiff; that theyll clean more thoroughly. What they will do, if the person has bad oralhealth, is make the gums bleed and possibly damage barrier tissues --an open invitation toinfection. Second: The relative "stiffness" of the brush can be increased as oral health improves. Asomewhat stiffer brush of high quality is preferred for advanced health hygiene use. Avoidcarefully using a cheapie labeled stiff or firm. It will very probably damage tissues. Third: The shape of a toothbrush has some bearing on how well it works. Any reputable,high quality brush manufactured by a competent supply house will have a better design than acheapie, unless the cheapie is an imitation of a name-brand brush. Even then, the "economy"brush will not have the bristle quality your oral health deserves. The next item in your cabinet should be dental tape. This is a product similar to dental floss,but it is wider. Comparing tape to floss is, for our purposes, like comparing ribbon to thread. Thisis one of the few items available directly from Oramedics: It is manufactured for Oramedics tocritical specifications and is marketed as Oramedics Clean-Between.* In many drugstores, J&J Companys "Dentotape" is available and this, also, is a flat, widertape. Dental floss may be used and if tape is temporarily unavailable, should be used rather than togo without. In the chapter dealing with hygiene, the comparative uses of floss and tape will bemore thoroughly explained. Disclosing tablets are a "must" for your supply cabinet. These are tablets slightly larger thanan ordinary aspirin, made of chewable food dye. For those just starting an oral hygieneprogram...or even for advanced users...and especially for children, the use of disclosing tablets ishighly recommended. Well discuss this more fully when we take a closer look at hygiene. Fornow: The dye in the tablet will stain the film (plaque) generated by germs and deposited on toothsurfaces. It will not stain clean enamel. Therefore, the disclosing dye will tell the user whetherany spots have been "missed" in cleaning the teeth. Interdental stimulators such as "Stim-U-Dent" are specially-shaped, soft wood devices,sometimes flavored. They are not "just toothpicks," although the ends may be pointed and can beused in this manner. One of the purposes of these stimulators is that they may be carried in pocketor purse and used when toothbrush and tape are not readily available. They also have a beneficialrole in the full hygiene program, as will be explained in that chapter. Dentifrice comes in many forms, under many brand names. It is colored, flavored, irradiated,chlorinated, fluoridated; it promises better sex life, kissable breath and movie-star-white teeth.It’s called paste, or powder, or drops...Whats a mother to do....? The only absolute purpose a dentifrice serves is to aid in cleaning the teeth. Given thecontrols wielded by the US government food and drug people and the limits imposed onadvertising, its not likely that you will find a product offered for sale that will actually harm youroral health. But which one helps it the most? Well --that depends on what you expect from your dentifrice. If you are simply looking forsomething convenient, cheap and dependable: Mix up some baking soda and salt and use it as atooth powder. It will help clean your teeth, the soda will counteract acidity in the mouth and thesalt will give you a fresh, clean taste afterward. If the combination of salt and soda is a little bittough on germs...thats tough, right? There are many, many brands of tooth powder available. As a general rule, they cost less andtend to do a better job than tooth pastes. One thing: While you arent likely to encounter a1
  30. 30. commercially-available powder with abrasives in it, this is something to watch for. Abrasives,such as pumice, are used to clean and polish the teeth; but almost always in a situation whereprofessional supervision is available. If you encounter an off-brand powder, which makes strongclaims as a "brightener" or stain remover, be sure you ask whats in it. If there are abrasives, avoidit. How about fluoride in tooth pastes? True; sodium fluoride is a powerful weapon againstodontosis. Well discuss it fully in the next chapter. However, any fluoride-containing productyou can buy without a prescription will be limited by law to .05% fluoride content. It wont hurtyou, used as directed; it has been proved that such preparations can have a beneficial effect inreducing cavities. Fluoride dentifrices and rinses sold over the counter are not bad; Oramedics certainly doesntrecommend against them. Our sole objection to these products is in the way they are advertised:People may become convinced that such products can be substituted for proper oral hygienemethods because the fluoride "helps reduce cavities." Not true! --It will "help reduce cavities"; butit is not a substitute for proper care. There are two dentifrices presently on the market which, because of their special-purposechemistry, you should know about. One of these, "Sensodyne", is for people with tooth hypersensitivity. An estimated one out ofseven persons have hypersensitive teeth; the number rising to as many as one out of four inpersons over 35. As you probably guessed, hypersensitivity is a condition wherein the teeth "feel pain" or aresensitive to temperature extremes or touch, as in brushing, etc. This condition has led somepeople to avoid brushing, or to brush improperly, to escape unpleasantness or outright pain. Sensodyne publications state, "Sensodyne contains strontium chloride which, by virtue of itsapparent biocolloidal binding and blocking actions, interrupts transmission of neural impulses--from tooth surfaces through dental tubes or connective tissue--to the dental pulp where pain isperceived. Sensodyne has also been shown to be an excellent choice for preventive home care.With good cleaning and foaming attributes, it is readily substituted as a routine replacement forpreviously used cosmetic tooth pastes." The other specialty dentifrice is "Chloresium". It works well as a typical routine dentifrice,and it contains chlorophyll, the natural ingredient used by nature in trees and plants as part of thenatural environmental "cleaning program." Chloresium has been recommended in the past,particularly for patients with stubborn halitosis (bad breath) conditions. Additional recommended items You may encounter some difficulty obtaining tooth drops, NF. (national formulary) fromyour local drugstore. If you can, discuss with your pharmacist your need for this preparation,which he should recognize as zinc oxide-eugenol. Zinc oxide is a white powder and eugenol acolorless liquid with the consistency of light engine oil. These two, when mixed together as instructed, will combine to form the material for atemporary filling (see Chapter Twelve). The eugenol is an obtundent, which means that it has abeneficial effect in "quieting" inflammation and helping to bring relief from toothache pain whenused as a temporary filling. A prescription is not required for zinc oxide-eugenol preparations, so if your druggist wishesto cooperate with you, this can be made available. At minimum, you should try to obtain theeugenol. If you cannot get zinc oxide, or if you prefer to use a premixed temporary fillingmaterial, ask your druggist to get you some "Cavit"; distributed by Premier Dental Products Co.,Norristown, PA 19401.* This preparation comes ready-to-use, with instructions, as a temporary filling. It does not1
  31. 31. contain eugenol, and its manufacturer recommends that before using Cavit, the cavity be swabbedwith eugenol...so, either way, you should make an effort through druggists to obtain eugenol. If, for any reason, you cannot obtain eugenol or Cavit locally, write Oramedics.* WhileOramedics is not set up as a product retailer, the staff constantly monitors products available, oras new products come on the market...and sometimes people have been advised how to obtainproducts when they are not locally available. Hydraulic cleaning devices Perhaps the best known brand name for such devices is the "Water Pik", manufactured by adivision of Teledyne, Inc. The concept used involves pumping water, plain or with chemicalsadded, through the machine in such a way that impulses or bursts of water are delivered to theteeth through small nozzles at the end of a flexible tube. Incidentally, the Water Pik brand isspecifically endorsed by Oramedics. We discuss the use of these appliances more thoroughly in Chapters Nine and Ten, especiallyas related to prevention of gum disease in adults. By arrangement with Water Pik company, aspecial tip has been designed to Oramedics specifications for use in a hygienic approach to aid inthe correction of periodontosis. Electric tooth polishers These home care devices are a wand-like, hand-held device which when used properly, cangive you the ability to "shine" your teeth to a degree approaching the quality of prophylaxis(cleaning) done by dental hygienists. The wand, or handle, contains a small electric battery-driven motor (re-chargeable). Themotor drives a rotary-action cleaning head with a replaceable small rubber cup at the "businessend." This rubber or plastic cup is shaped to fit tooth surfaces and is flexible enough to conformto the shapes of various teeth while in use. The spinning rubber cup, in which the user deposits a small quantity of cleaning paste, is thenmoved over the exterior of the teeth to remove stains, plaque and calculus. (Complete removal ofcalculus will probably require a professional cleaning). Ordinarily, such devices come with anumber of color-coded, interchangeable heads, so that each family member has his or herpersonal device, using the same motor-handle. Note: In Chapter Ten, discussing the use of this device in your personal hygiene program,you will find a special mention of the potential for helping your child remain cavity-free throughevery-second week (not daily) use of the polisher. You might want to compare the cost of thisdevice against the cost of two or three sessions at the dentists office for fillings in teeth whichthat child will, naturally, ultimately lose when replaced by permanent teeth.1
  32. 32. Electric toothbrushes Electric toothbrushes seem to be helpful, if only for one reason: There is reason to believethat children will brush longer, and on a more consistent schedule, with electric toothbrushes asopposed to the old-fashioned "one-arm power" brush. Perhaps this holds true for adults, as well.If this is true for you or for members of your family, this appliance might be a good investment. Aside from this, there is no reason to believe that you cant do equally as good a job with astandard (high quality) toothbrush, properly used. Special mirrors Inexpensive "dentists" mirrors are available in many drugstores; some of these mirrors havesmall, battery powered lights. Others provide a degree of magnification and illumination. Theability to see what you are doing...or missing...inside your mouth is important and your efforts toobtain a satisfactory mirror or mirrors can help contribute a great deal to your overall hygieneprogram. Once again: The mirror of choice with Oramedics doctors is the "Floxite"* mirror. There you have it: Two shopping lists; one of them including must items (A) and one of themwith convenience items (B). List A Toothbrushes Interdental stimulators Disclosing tablets Dental tape Toothpaste or powder Mouth rinse (optional) List B --Zinc oxide-eugenol and / or Cavit. --A hydraulic cleaning device such as a Water Pik or Ora-Jet* --An electric polishing device (Not a cheapie) --An electric toothbrush with personalized brushes --A special mirror or mirrors; preferably illuminated and capable of magnification Before ending this chapter and moving on to a discussion of medicines, lets be honest aboutsomething: Money. The items in list A... the necessities... cost less per family member than theaverage person is likely to spend this month on cosmetics or beverages. The items from list B are a bit more expensive, but the total cash outlay for these items, manyof which will last for years, is probably a lot less than youll spend on your automobile thismonth. Its a common misconception that the average American "cant afford good dental health."The items mentioned in this chapter, used properly, will virtually guarantee good dental health.Cant afford it? --When you think about it, how could anybody afford not to be "choosy" and buy the verybest available when it comes to oral hygiene products or devices? The cost, in relation to ultimate1
  33. 33. savings, is one of todays best buys.Editors Note: While this book was written nearly twenty years ago and the facts remain as validtoday as they did then, the products mentioned in this book are no longer available by OramedicsInternational since 1983. OraMedia, however has and is making efforts to provide theseproducts and pick up where Oramedics left off. OraMedia also provides some products, such asTheraSol non-prescription anti microbial rinse, not available when this book was written.OraMedia also endorses the Ora-Jet 7500 irrigation device over the Water Pik, and althoughmany people may already own a Water Pik, we do provide the special cannulae tips for thatproduct as well. Oramedics Clean-Between dental tape is also no longer available and wesuggest Oral-Bs dental tape, available at most pharmacies or supermarkets.Please refer to the product list at the end of this book for more information on available products.1
  34. 34. Chapter Seven - Oral self-help medicine The chemicals used in becoming dentally self sufficient generally fall into one of twocategories: There are those used for hygienic purposes, in the actual prevention of odontosis; andthere are those used to relieve problems and pain brought on by symptoms of existing or previousdisease. In Chapter Six we mentioned one tooth paste specifically: "Sensodyne". This is for use whenthe teeth, themselves, display a sensitivity to temperature or touch stimulus and thishypersensitivity tends to cause a person to avoid regular or effective brushing. The other formulation we discussed in that chapter was dentifrice or mouthwash containingfluoride. Are these beneficial? To answer that, lets repeat that federal law prohibits selling anypreparation for use in the mouth, which contains more than point zero five percent (.05%)fluoride. There is no longer any question whether this chemical is effective against odontosis. Thequestions seem to involve how effective, and what is the best method of using it? Any company manufacturing a toothpaste or rinse containing fluoride will cheerfully providestatistics on effectiveness. One such company (a rinse, in this case) reports a 50% reduction incavities in a two year study of 222 children, beginning at age 10, using a .05% sodium fluoriderinse daily, a 10 milliliter dose. The same rinse used on 434 children age 11 and 12 over a three-year study, resulted in a 36%caries reduction; the significant difference apparently the amount used (7.5 ml) and the "use time"--two minutes daily. Oramedics doesnt argue the figures of any such reports. There simply is no longer a questionabout the effect of fluoride on odontosis. Its a powerful weapon against disease, and has otherbeneficial properties also. In fact, fluoride seems to work no matter how we get it to the oral cavity: In pastes, in rinses,through the drinking water, by taking pills or painting it on the teeth or --you name it --it works. Whether it is proper to put it into drinking water when it is readily available in other forms,all elective with the user, is a philosophical question...not a medical question. Oramedics wishes only to point out that while all the research reports agree that fluoride hassome degree of effectiveness against cavities no matter how its used and in what concentration,there is no research claiming that it is 100% effective in concentrations available to the generalpublic. And therein lies the problem. If the public is led to think of fluoride-formula dentifrices orrinses or water supplies or pills as a panacea against odontosis, they are the victims of a gravemis-service. Fluoride is not a panacea. By itself, fluoride will probably not bring wholesale relieffrom this disease --certainly it wont do it in .05% concentrations --and therefore, if people thinkof it as "the answer" they are perhaps going to get slipshod in their own hygiene and remiss insupervision of their children. People who are enrolled in the Oramedics program ...either in the practice of an OramedicsFellow or through the mail... may be put on fluoride rinses at one time or another. Theconcentration may vary, depending upon the individual case after clinical testing and study oforal and medical history; in many cases the concentration will be at about a point two percent(.2% to .25%) level, or in difficult cases up to .5%. The rinse used by Oramedics ismanufactured to rigid specifications and is available (only with prescription) as Oramedics PhaseIII rinse. Every individual has different needs and so any discussion of fluoride rinsing must considerthis variety of applications. Generally speaking, however: When a persons saliva test count1
  35. 35. stubbornly refuses to drop below 8,000 per mi., and there is reason to believe that person is doingall of his or her personal hygienic "exercises," Oramedics will sometimes prescribe use of .2% to.5% fluoride rinse for a specific term --for example, one month --used once or twice daily,depending on individual case conditions. After the germ count has been brought within tolerance, the habitual, frequent use of fluoriderinse in concentrations of more than the legal consumer maximum,.05%, is not recommended.For one thing: Fluoride, no matter how beneficial to our oral health when used properly, is adeadly poison if misused. What are the potential hazardous side effects of long-term,indiscriminate use? --We dont know; and Oramedics doesnt want to find out "the hard way," byadvocating unnecessary use of fluorides. For another thing: Although it may be beyond "reason" in purely scientific thinking, theres a"what if" involved in using fluoride: "What if lactobacillus acidophilus and or streptococcusmutans --or a mutated variant of either or both --developed an affinity for, or a resistance, tofluoride?" --Highly improbable; perhaps downright ridiculous... but there are a number of age-olddiseases now coming back strong, haunting the medical profession which, a few years back, usedantibiotics like a scattergun against infectious germs. Some of those mutated disease-bearersthrive on penicillin, now... Thus, Oramedics use of fluoride would be more comparable to the "rifle technique." We takeaim and fire, with a concentrated blast of fluoride rinse, intended to utterly destroy existingodontosis pathogens. We dont scattergun, hoping to maim or cripple some of them. We wantthem all --and then, when the germs no longer cause a saliva test above tolerance levels, we stopusing fluoride. It is very rare to have to resort to its use again, later; ordinarily the personscontinuing oral hygiene program is adequate to maintain a disease-free environment withoutmedical assistance. Should you use commercially available fluoride products? --Thats up to you. The facts areevident: Such preparations can and do bring some statistical relief from cavities. There is not ashred of evidence ...today... that daily use of .05% concentrations in rinses or dentifrices has anyharmful effect. If you are aware, and remain aware, that this by itself is only partially effectiveagainst odontosis... that you still have a personal responsibility to your own hygiene and that ofyour children... commercially prepared fluoride products then become largely a matter ofpersonal preference. Dentists may use still another approach involving fluoride: The topical application. In this, amuch higher percentile concentration of fluoride in paste or gel form is applied directly to theteeth. Again, statistics prove a beneficial effect. This may be offset by the infrequency orirregularity of the treatment and, of course, by the expense involved, since it requires an officecall.1

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